Farm Lobby Loses Vote On Prices
STRASBOURG, France (AP) _ The European Parliament dealt a blow to the farm lobby Thursday by endorsing proposals for a price freeze on many agricultural commodities and calling for further tightening of production.
In a resolution adopted by a vote of 182 to 150, the Parliament said the Common Market must stem the rising costs of the Common Agricultural Policy and adjust farm prices to world levels.
Farm prices, the Parliament said, may not be allowed to rise faster than the Community’s own resources.
Although the Parliament - elected representatives from the 10 Common Market nations - did not endorse the European Commission’s proposal to impose super- levies on surplus production of cereals, it agreed with the imposition of quotas and measures to discourage the production of low quality grains.
In the milk sector, it went even further than the Commission’s proposal by calling for a 3 percent further reduction of milk production ceilings.
West German and Italian Christian Democrats called the resolution ″a scandalous document which shows total disdain for the European farmer.″ French deputies across the political spectrum were also solidly opposed to the text.
Italian Christian Democrat Nino Pisoni, speaking for his group, said European farmers will suffer as a result of the vote. Irish deputies were opposed to the text, largely because of the restrictions on milk production.
The British delegation, both Labor and Conserviative, was among the biggest gainers in the vote.
Richard Simmonds, a conservative, said: ″We have for the first time a sensible package. 1986 is a landmark in the history of the European Parliament.″
The Parliament also called on the Commission to start a program to dispose of surplus food, but cautioned that any measures must not exacerbate tensions with the United States over farm exports.